24 August 2018
A short, but amazing week in pictures

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Tanda Tula’s Week in Pictures! It is a welcome back to me too, having just come back to the Timbavati following a couple of weeks of leave, and boy, what a return it has been! Having followed the updates on Instagram (don’t forget to follow Tanda Tula's Instagram if you aren’t doing so already), I could see that I had been missing out on some good game viewing, especially seeing as the Zebenine lionesses had finally introduced their two new cubs to us.

So, on my return I was delighted to be heading straight back out on drive. I couldn’t wait to be behind the wheel with my guests once again. Although this collection of images is not from a full week, it has been a really great few days on drive, and this was apparently merely a continuation from the last couple of weeks.

The Zebinine lionesses have been around, and although they had the cubs out on my first drive back, I had been too busy enjoying elephants, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, jackal, impala, kudu and hippo to make it to the den site before night fell. We caught up with the two lionesses the next day, but they didn’t return to the den until after dark yet again. Luckily for everyone, the lionesses had the two cubs out yesterday evening and allowed all of the guests to enjoy this incredibly cute sighting! It never ceases to amaze me how much people love baby animals! In the west, the two Ross lionesses were seen near a massive herd of buffalo, and the Mbiri males have been spending time with the four Mayambula lionesses in the east once more. Although they haven’t been seen since their kill on the weekend, their tracks indicate that they are still active in the area.

News from the north is that Nthombi leopardess has moved her cub to the north of the concession; this may mean it will be a little longer before we get to see it, but at least the cub is doing well as it approaches two months of age. Madzinyo male leopard was at his favourite spot a couple of days ago, once more sitting and waiting for a family of warthogs to emerge from their mound (you must look at my video of Madzinyo's warthog kill from a few weeks ago where he successfully caught a piglet running out from his burrow!). But, sadly, for the second time in a couple of weeks, he walked away meal-less. I loved the fact that I had pointed out the mound to my guests and spoke of this male leopard’s speciality, and on the very next drive we were sitting watching him doing exactly what we had spoken about!

Marula has been a real star of late, and she has been around with two separate kills over the last three days; one a steenbuck that she finished late one evening, only for her to be relocated the next day with an impala kill hoisted safely up a tree. There was a second leopard in the area – the impressive, albeit shy, Rothsay male – but only growls could be heard coming from the bushes. In the afternoon, he was found up the tree with a kill. A very amusing scene was set with a hyena and two rhinos sleeping in the shade of the very same tree! When darkness fell, he was much more relaxed and we had a lovely view of this seldom-seen, dominant male of the southern half of our concession.

The wild dogs continue to pop in and out of the property before returning to their den site in Klaserie, but it is only a matter of days now before the pups are old enough to get mobile and start following the pack, so with some luck, we will be seeing them more regularly soon.

I was also very happy to see that upon my return, the elephants were still around in great numbers, with several herds continuing to make the central part of our concession their home. Foreman had seen the impressive Apollo male elephant (you can read more about this incredible bull in my previous blog about Apollo) the day before I got back too, which is encouraging to know that he is still around!

What has also been fantastic to see is the number of giraffes on the concession, and we have seen several herds (or journeys of giraffes if you will) numbering up to 20 individuals. They are all enjoying the flowing knob-thorn trees (Senegalia nigrescens) that have transformed the landscape into one dotted with powdery-yellowed flowering trees everywhere.

So, a short week in pictures for me, but if this is what two days of safari has produced then I really look forward to the rest of this work cycle!

Until next time!
Cheers
Chad


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